History

Archaeological studies show that oats have been around since about 2,000 BC, however at this point in time they were probably just weed seeds that grew within cultivated fields of various other crops. This makes them one of the last of the major cereal grains to be domesticated. There are a couple of reasons why people were slow to embrace oats when compared with other grains. Firstly, oats go rancid more quickly than other grains because they have a high content of natural fats, therefore have to be processed immediately after harvesting. Secondly, they were thought to have a bland taste that the Greeks and Romans believed to be better suited to animals. Even today, less than 5% of the oats commercially cultivated across the world are grown for human consumption. Oats gradually became a major crop leading up to 1920, at which point machines began to replace horsepower. Now, oats are widely cultivated in the temperate regions of the world and are second only to rye in their ability to survive in poor soils.

Health Benefits

Oats contain more soluble fibre than any other grain, therefore they are a great food for your digestion system and overall gut health. A high soluble fibre content also means that oats will keep your stomach full for longer and provide satiety between meals. Oats also have anti-inflammatory properties and have been clinically proven to soothe dry, itchy skin. They have a good balance of amino acids, making them a favourable dietary source of protein. This amino acid profile of oats means they also appear in skincare and haircare, providing important amino acids to promote healthy and glowing skin and hair.

Fun Facts

  • The ancient Greeks were the first people known to have made a recognisable porridge cereal from oats.

  • 75% of US households have oatmeal in their cupboard.

  • An oatmeal bath can be considered a lovely, DIY natural beauty ritual, created by adding 1 cup of finely ground oatmeal to bath water with anti-inflammatory benefits for conditions such as eczema and sunburn.

  • Pure oats are naturally gluten-free, but for those with intolerances, always check food labels for any cross-contamination.

Recipes

Christmas Fruit Mince Tarts – A crowd-pleasing Christmas treat to share with family and friends this silly season.

Overnight Oats – The perfect grab-and-go breakfast.

Apple Pie Porridge – A nourishing breakfast to warm you up from the inside out, with chewy dried apple and warming spices.

Maple Cinnamon Granola – A tasty and quick weekday breakfast, snack on the run or 3pm pick-me-up

Raw Energy Bar – An energising morning tea or pre-workout snack.